Monty Bennett, organist
Having been hailed as “one of the country’s top young concert artists” by the Baldwin Organ Company,
Monty began musical studies at an early age in his native California. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, he was a student of Dr. James Welch, with whom he studied organ, carillon and harpsichord. Early keyboard studies were under the tutelage of William Bagileo, Herbert Nanney of Stanford University, and Dr. Roger Nyquist, of Santa Clara University. Always seeking to gain further knowledge of organ music and the instrument, he has participated in masterclasses with Gillian Weir, Laura Ellis, Bruce Neswick, Gerre Hancock, Joyce Jones, Robert Glasgow and Todd Wilson, and has studied pipe organ voicing with Francesco Ruffatti.
Monty has performed around the world as an organist, accompanist and conductor. In 2005, he made his European debut playing a recital for the 22nd International Festival of Organists in Turin, Italy, where he played the European première of a collection of African-American spirituals by Calvin Taylor. He has played for numerous chapters of the American Guild of Organists, as well as performing at major churches and universities across the county. He also performs on the carillon and played his first European carillon recital on the 70 bell instrument in installed at the Chapel of the Dukes of Savoy, Chambéry, France.
Formerly the Minister of Music at Ebenezer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Rock Hill, SC and Associate Minister of Music/Organist at Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC, he presided at the Calvary Grand Moller Pipe Organ. He most recently served as the Principal Organist at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC, a musically diverse, historically African-American congregation of 7500 members, where he designed and dedicated the Five-Manual, 168 stop, Fratelli Ruffatti pipe organ. Mr. Bennett is the Music Director at Temple Israel, Charlotte, NC, playing for Friday night Shabbat services and directing the choir for festivals and the High Holy Days. He also serves as carillonneur for Christoph Paccard Bellfoundries of Charleston, SC. In light of his musical accomplishments, he is listed in Who’s Who in America and has been featured on the internationally renowned National Public Radio broadcast Pipedreams.
An active member of The American Guild of Organists from the age of 13, Monty holds the Colleague certification of the AGO and has served on the Executive Committee of the Charlotte Chapter, where he coordinated the chapter’s nationally acclaimed Summer Recital Series.